Fabulous Homemade Granola

This is one of our favorites and I seem to make a batch every time I turn around! And it’s way too easy to taste so good. I still can’t believe that I use to pay up to $6.00 for a lame store-bought box of granola.

Ingredients

1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
5 cups oats
1/2 cup powdered milk*
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups cranberries

The first thing you should do is load up on organic rolled oats. I buy from Bob’s Red Mill online and a 25 lb bag costs around $30.00. (hmm, you can’t even buy 6 little boxes of the store stuff for that price, and we’re still only talking a total of about 5 pounds of oats)

Next, buy honey in bulk. Thanks to my father-in-law for spoiling us with a 24 lb tub of beautiful honey (he picks one up every time he visits Montana) we are always well-stocked.

With those two items on hand, you can do a lot. My next bit of advice is to get organized girlfriend! Get out everything you’ll need for this recipe… the ingredients, a mixing bowl, spoons and spatula, measuring cups, saucepan, baking pan and pot holder.

Preheat oven to 375°. In a saucepan over very low heat, add the following:

1/2 cup oil

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

Stir occassionally.

Keep on low until other items are measured out, but don’t let it bubble. You just want it to stay really warm. Now turn your attention to the dry ingredients:

Measure out 5 cups oats into a bowl

1/2 cup powdered milk

and since I have them on hand: 1 cup sliced almonds

Quickly mix dry ingredients. Now it’s time to remove the honey mixture from heat, stir and then pour it into dry and stir. But if you’re like me, the spoon is bothersome for mixing ingredients of this texture, so I mix a little while (because it’s hot at first) but then I have to get my hands in there. I squeeze to form chunks, making sure every bit gets mixed in. Spread mixture evenly into the pan.

Turn the oven down to 350° and bake for 40 minutes. You’ll need to take it out and turn it (mix) about every 10 minutes so it cooks evenly.

Also, lower the temperature as needed (this depends on a lot of things: your own oven, how thin the mixture is spread out, how ‘well done’ you like it, etc.) I turn my oven down to 325 half way through.

Once it’s out stir in extras – I have dried cranberries on hand this time. So I’ll add 1 1/2 cups cranberries to it right out of the oven.

Let it cool completely before storing. This will keep for 3 weeks (if it even stays on your shelf for that long!).

Tip – Some people add salt to their granola recipe which we don’t think is necessary, but it’s your choice. Other flavor add-ins can include ¼ teas vanilla, ½ teas cinnamon, etc.

Tip – Just because I only had dried cranberries and almonds in my pantry doesn’t mean you have stick to these ingredients. Why not throw in whatever sounds good to you? Coconut, raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts… the options go on and on. (Nuts can go right into the recipe, everything else should be added after it’s cooked.)

*Final thoughts: Many recipes do not include powdered milk and they turn out just wonderful. If you do not have any on hand then don’t worry about it an leave it out. I add it because it somehow softens the oats without taking the crunch away. I use it because it’s easier for me to munch on. (I sometimes feel like I’ve been punched in the jaw after eating some crunchy foods! I’m sensitive that way.)

So that’s it. I hope you enjoy it!